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Old 02-25-2010, 09:51 AM
 
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We will be moving to the area this summer. We plan to look at in the following order:

1) Chappaqua
2) Armonk
3) Edgemont
4) Briarcliff Manor (although I'm astounded at the even higher taxes associated with BCM than even Chappaqua, so this might be out)
5) Ardsely (very distant last)

The housing market seems pretty stagnant right now. Available houses in the 650K to 800K level seem to have been sitting for a while. Not sure whether to assume that they have something wrong with them or if no one is buying right now.

My question is: based on your community knowledge, do you see housing prices declining in the coming months or staying pretty much steady? It seems to me that the higher priced homes (850K and over) are still at 2006 prices. Do you anticipate a drop in these houses? Or am I just dreaming! Thanks!
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Old 02-25-2010, 01:12 PM
 
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I don't think they are going to drop much further. Houses in all categories just seem to sit on the market for months. I think what happens is sellers are still a bit delusional and are not pricing their houses fairly and then when they finally decide to drop the price they sell usually. So I think as a buyer you really need to know what a fair selling price is and look at a lot of comps to make sure house is not overpriced. The ones which are priced fairly seem to sell quicker.

Yes Briarcliff has really high taxes our school taxes are crazy because the school is so small I think and little industry in the village-we are in Briarcliff and looking to upgrade for about a year now but very little has come on the market that has been fairly priced in the 1 million range. FYI-Armonk seems to have the lowest taxes because there is a lot of business in the area.
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Old 02-25-2010, 01:32 PM
 
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Thank you for your input mfenimore. I guess we'll have to wait and see what's available when we are actually ready to buy in a few months. We are seriously considering renting for up to 3 years. I'm afraid that if we move again (my husband is in an industry that can stay very stable for a long time and then just have lots of movement all of a sudden). I'm kind of getting the impression that the area is weathly enough that even if people "have to move" they have the resorces to keep their home empty for a while. I think they think they have the resources to wait out the market. I'm not sure I'm willing to take that bet. To buy at the inflated prices in hopes that the market doesn't decline even more. It seems that the Westchester area is behind the curve, they will get the reduction in housing costs, but it'll be a bit later than everyone else in the country. At least that is the feeling I'm getting. That's why I like to hear what people in the area have to say. I could be very wrong! Or right????
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Old 02-25-2010, 01:44 PM
 
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I am not sure there will ever be the decline in westchester that there is everywhere else. I think here people can wait out the market more before selling. But in the end they wind up reducing the price if they want to actually sell it because there are so few buyers right now. I would not take my chances that things are going to get lower if you find the perfect house.
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Old 02-25-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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If I find the perfect house, I'm certain we'll buy. It's just that my perfect house is listed for about 850K and I want to buy it for 700K. Probably not going to happen! I'm certain we'll be able to compromise. I'm really not interested in buying a 700K house in need of tons of upgrades and repairs. Been there, done that - ready for being responsible for just painting and decorating! I also can't seem to want to buy a house for 850K. Just not where I want my money to go. Hence, maybe we'll rent and see what happens.
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Old 02-25-2010, 02:12 PM
 
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In the towns you mentioned you don't get much for 700k without doing a lot of work not sure what type of house you are looking for. Prices in Westchester are insane
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
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Prices in Chappaqua have dropped over 30% since the peak and I see things in your range that look quite nice. Prices in Westchester continue to be higher than many places--but the price of a great house in Chappaqua will get you a small apartment in a good Brooklyn neighborhood, so it's all relative. As for time on the market, I see houses that have been sitting on the market for 2 years suddenly sell for close to asking--its impossible to guess what will go when. (And no, I'm not a realtor--just a real-estate-aholic.)

As for where prices are headed, I tend to think they've hit bottom just since they are so much lower than the equivalent city prices, but it all depends on the economy and mortgage rates...
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:38 PM
 
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Thank you for your input dma1250. I've only been following the market since last summer and I haven't seen a significant decrease in asking price. I do see a decrease in some selling prices. We're moving from Suffolk County, so although Westchester is still more expensive, it's not like we are moving from Florida or South Carolina - that would be total sticker shock. There are some house that are "ok" in our range. However, I like the houses that are about 100K more. Isn't that how it always is, though? Unfortunately, it will be a big down grade in house quality for us, so that is just hard to get a grip on. I'm sure we'll find something to our liking! I just don't think that over the next 10 years that we'll get back any major renovation costs. So buying a house that needs 100K worth of work isn't going to work for us.
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Old 02-27-2010, 07:47 AM
 
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flowergarden- we are in a similar position. we have been looking at housing on and off for a few years. we still cannot believe that this fundamental disconnect between housing prices and incomes will remain. the "bubble" has still not totally deflated, at least in my opinion. it seems odd to us that anyone who has been successful enough to be able to afford a 900-1.25MM house would actually be satisfied living in some of the houses listed (and some even sold) for these prices.
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Old 02-27-2010, 09:18 AM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flowergarden View Post
Thank you for your input dma1250. I've only been following the market since last summer and I haven't seen a significant decrease in asking price. I do see a decrease in some selling prices. We're moving from Suffolk County, so although Westchester is still more expensive, it's not like we are moving from Florida or South Carolina - that would be total sticker shock. There are some house that are "ok" in our range. However, I like the houses that are about 100K more. Isn't that how it always is, though? Unfortunately, it will be a big down grade in house quality for us, so that is just hard to get a grip on. I'm sure we'll find something to our liking! I just don't think that over the next 10 years that we'll get back any major renovation costs. So buying a house that needs 100K worth of work isn't going to work for us.
I'm not sure there's been that much of a drop in the last 6 months, but last summer's prices represent a huge drop from the peak prices. Back in 2006, there was practically no "under $1 Million" market in Chappaqua (a few houses now and then, but only the worst of the bunch). So pretty much everything in your price range would have been just under or (more likely) over a million back then.

I totally disagree with you about the wisdom of buying a house in need of work. Now is definitely a great time to buy a "fixer" and invest 100K in a house--in this market homes that are in "mint" condition are going for an absurd premium over houses in need of work. I see houses for sale for 600K that could easily go for 800K if someone spent some money on them. We have friends who sold their house in the fall. Their house was on the market for a long time and then, at their realtor's suggestion, they spent 20K sprucing up the house and then relisted it for 100K more than it had been asking. It sold for 30K under asking--so their 20K in renovation got the place sold and netted them additional profit! (They bought a bigger fixer down the road.)

As for the quality of house one gets for the $$, that is of course totally subjective. We looked at well over 100 houses and nothing was right until we found our house. A 1700's farmhouse on 4 acres with a barn, original flooring, beams, multiple fireplaces--we had seen similar homes that sold for a lot more money and we knew that it was a total steal for the price. I remember on our second visit we had to wait for another family to leave the house. When they came out you could see from their faces that they were horrified--the floors sloped, the ceilings sloped, the ceilings were low, it needed a new kitchen! They probably went on to buy one of the new construction houses that we had no interest in--and I'm sure we both would think the others were crazy to spend so much on a house like that!
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